Pola Roupa was transferred because she was taking part in a mobilization in the prison of Korydallos (Athens), against prison overcrowding and for the implementation of measures to stop the spreading of the epidemic in Greece’s prisons. There is a possibility that Nikos Maziotis will also be transferred to the high security prison of Domokos, where he has been held in the past. In fact he was moved to Korydallos in 2015 in order to attend the hearings of the trials against Revolutionary Struggle (Επαναστατικού Αγώνα, “Epanastatikòs Agonas”), that have been going on for five years. His imprisonment in Korydallos will end with the conclusion of the fourth trial against Revolutionary Struggle.
The sentence of this trial (concerning bank robberies attributed to the group) will be pronounced on 28th April 2020, unless it is postponed due to the current epidemic. After the sentence is pronounced, Nikos is likely to be moved to Domokos. Presumably he will be taken back to the Athens prison in 2021, on the occasion of the appeal trial related to the fifth trial against Revolutionary Struggle (concerning the escape attempt from Korydallos by helicopter, organized by Pola Roupa in 2015 when she was in hiding, and another two bank robberies). After the April sentence, the 155 years accumulated by Nikos will be merged into 20 years, according to dispositions set out by Greece’s new penal code.
Here are the addresses:
Pola Roupa (Παναγιωτα Πόλα Ρούπα)
Dikastiki Fylaki Eleonas – Gynaikeies Fylakes
T.K. 32200, Thebes, Greece
Nikos Maziotis (Nικος Μαζιωτης)
Dikastiki Fylaki Korydallou – Eidiki Pteryga
T.K. 18110, Korydallos, Athens, Greece
Here follow two short texts written by Pola Roupa and Nikos Maziotis on the transfer and the mobilization going on in prisons.
A message from Pola Roupa:
23rd March 2020
On Friday 20th March, shortly after the prison shutdown, members of the police special forces stormed my section in order to remove me from Korydallos. The ministry had issued an order for my transfer so as to block a mobilization in Korydallos women’s prison, with the purpose of reducing the sections where doors started to be held open at midday. This is the first time an order of this kind has been given to break up a mobilization, and demonstrates the government’s extreme authoritarianism, the perception that the latter has of the prisoners and how it intends to tackle the threat of a deadly virus. Along with me they took a 65-year old prisoner incarcerated for financial problems, 67% disabled and awaiting release. Her transfer was a vengeful decision by the prison service. We are in quarantine in the prison of Eleonas in Thebes because of coronavirus and will remain so for several days.
Through our texts and mobilization, prisoners in the female units of Korydallos were raising the alarm to fend off a devastating and deadly spreading of the virus in the country’s prisons. Their general decongestion is the only solution to save human lives. But the government considers it less important to occupy itself with prisoners’ lives than to save its prestige and not undermine discipline in the country’s prisons. Its «sincere» preoccupation for the lives of the inhabitants of this country also manifests itself in the refusal to take over private hospitals, thus demonstrating that it doesn’t want to come into conflict with the big companies in the midst of the current major social and humanitarian crisis. The government doesn’t stop decimating doctors and nurses in public hospitals contaminated by coronavirus as they are forced to struggle without funds, staff and equipment. All over the country the prisoners are at the mercy of criminal indifference. My brutal transfer at the beginning of the mobilization confirms that the strategy of public order comes before social safety and human life itself.
Pola Roupa, member of Revolutionary Struggle
A message from Nikos Maziotis:
21st March 2020
This morning police special forces entered Korydallos women’s prison and took Pola Roupa away to transfer her to the women’s prison of Eleonas, in Thebes. Obviously this transfer happened following the mobilization and the request to have sentences reduced because of the risk of coronavirus spreading in the prisons. Yesterday the prisoners began to mobilize by keeping the cells open at lunchtime.
The transfer of the comrade Roupa to the prison of Eleonas appears to be the response given by the Ministry for the protection of citizens [which is in charge of public order and is responsible for police forces in the Greek State] to the prisoners’ demands and mobilizations. There was no response to the demand for reducing overcrowding in prisons in a legal way as indicated in the prisoners’ requests, which is the most elementary way to prevent the mass spreading of the virus in the prisons themselves. It is certain that, following the suspension of families’ and lawyers’ visits, the ministery’s next step will be to imprison the prisoners in their cells for 24 hours a day under the pretext of «protecting them», given that the virus will have got into prisons, if it hasn’t done so already. The measure of 24-hours’ detention in a cell is totally fascist, nor does it solve the problem. It is illegal and is not foreseen in any law or penal code and is in line with a more general approach towards ban on movement already in force all over Europe. Fascism in society, fascism in the jails!
Pola Roupa has always been in the front line in mobilizations and protests in the women’s prison of Korydallos. And naturally the reaction of the ministry and the government is «understandable». Let’s let them know that this won’t break us and that we won’t give in to any government, neither of the right or the left.
Nikos Maziotis, member of Revolutionary Struggle
Note: In the text written by P. Roupa it is indicated that her transfer took place on 20th March.